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SOFTBALL: EASTERN NO. 1 AGAIN

Warriors win five of six games to repeat as region's top-ranked team

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New England Poll.pdf .

NFCA Top 25 Poll.pdf

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- The Eastern Connecticut State University fastpitch softball team repeated as the No. 1 team in New England in the third weekly NEISCA Division III poll, and moved up one spot to No. 13 in the seventh weekly NFCA Division III Toop 25 national poll.

The Warriors swept UMass Boston and Springfield College and split with the U.S. Coast Guard Academy since the last poll, all games being played on the road. The Warriors are one of only two New England teams listed in the NFCA Top 25 this week. 

Above Molly Rathbun

Sophomore All-America right-handed pitcher/DP Molly Rathbun (Hebron) repeated as New England Pitcher-of-the-Week and also shared New England Player-of-the-Week honors. She was  also honored in both categories by the Little East Conference (in games through this past Sunday) in its weekly awards program.

The team's top pitcher and leading hitter, Rathbun batted .632 (12-for-19) in six games with two doubles, two home runs, ten RBI, a 1.053 slugging percentage and .650 on-base percentage. As a pitcher, she won four games without a loss and had a save in five appearances with a 0.51 ERA in 27 1/3 innings and broke her own program record for consecutive innings pitched without allowing an earned run. She fanned 45, walked nine and allowed eight hits. Opponents batted .092.

In those six games, Eastern fielded at .975 defensively and outscored its opponent by a 2-to-1 margin. Sophomore all-region outfielder Priscilla Alicea (Stratford) batted .421, and senior shortstop Kim Church (Farmington) and senior first baseman Katie O'Toole (Waterbury) .368. O'Toole and Alicea both drove in four runs and Alicea, Church and freshman third baseman Arielle Cooper (Mystic) all scored five.  

Eastern hosts Plymouth State University in a Little East Conference doubleheader Sunday at 1 p.m. at the University of Connecticut.